Content Career Off the Record

No Content shortcuts: Can’t you just copy from that website?

Client: We need some inspiration. I will send some reference links. Why don’t you use it?

While that is a sophisticated approach to saying, “I love my competitor’s work. “Can’t you just copy their content?”


First. It is unethical to do something like that.

Second. It is treated as plagiarism.

Third. Google, the demigod of the internet can penalize your website for stealing words.

This is an unspoken topic, but most writers are asked to do this. Thanks to Google, a new phrase has emerged when clients talk to writers. They say, “We are looking for original writers.”

But those who still question a writer’s ability say, “We are looking for original writers who are willing to take inspiration from other websites.”

This comment is doubly annoying as it shows zero understanding of SEO plus a sidestep of your writing abilities. It may also mean your client expects a discount because, you know, you didn’t really write it all, did you?

So, how to deal with such clients.

No Content Shortcuts

1. Show them a picture. What is the price of plagiarism?

The picture should include the price of plagiarism? It could mean fiddling with copyright and can lead to legal action. Mention the source and give due credit, if you are truly inspired by their work and quote them.

SEM Rush has listed some good tools that will help you avoid plagiarism.

  • Unplag
  • Copysentry
  • SEMrush Position Tracking

2. Content Standards by Writers

  • Outline clear guidelines between writers and editors.
  • Fact-check and verify all sources.
  • Each piece of content should add value to the table.

3. Blacklisted by SEO

Hmmh, search engines can blacklist your website for being a cheater. Though it could be unintentional at times and there are ways to turn it around, in most cases it means no amount of good SEO will get your website to rank on the first page of the website.

Tell us your story of how you managed to write original.

Follow ‘Off the Record’ a series that addresses topics that are only spoken in the break-out area for real, and not in a meeting. Published every Wednesday on Linkedin.

7 replies on “No Content shortcuts: Can’t you just copy from that website?”

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the site is also really good. Devon Laurence Frederica

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Excellent read. I just passed this onto a buddy who was doing a little research on that. He just bought me lunch as I found it for him! So let me rephrase: Thanks for lunch! Grazia Aharon Weinhardt

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